Social apps are far more complex than single-user apps. I wonder to what
extent a lack of social psych research input into the design of these apps
-- the most popular ones having been designed by college undergrads -- is
causing their popularity to plateau? To me, this suggests a discontinuity
similar to the one that occurred when command line interfaces were displaced
by GUIs. Every GUI out there can trace its origins to the the
multi-disclipinary, thoroughly grounded research conducted at Xerox PARC. I
think it's possible to go only so far by the seat of one's pants.
Interesting 4 minute video entitled "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" that I haven't seen referenced here. It's a nice overview of how the intersection of new technology and social trends are influencing how we develop and interact with applications.
Browser throbbers are broken. These spinning, swirling, pulsing
artifacts were a great way of indicating state back when a web page
wasn't loaded until it was loaded, and once it was loaded it didn't
need to load any more.
But the Web 2.0 blah blah has crept up on us, and I suddenly find
myself waiting for pages to load with no indication of state. I
interact with pages, wait for a response, but find myself without any
idea of whether the connection is actually working, or how long it
might take to finish the transaction.
I've been mulling this over for a while. "Page" as a metaphor for an
html file works perfectly well when what is being displayed is fairly
static (even if served up dynamically). But now with all the AJAX/
Flash/Flex Web 2.0 stuff starting to take off, what happens to the
humble page? Clearly the metaphor isn't as valid anymore, but what
(if anything) should replace it? Screen?
Once pages (screens? cells? slides?) start updating dynamically,
either on their own or based on user input, we're going to get a lot
of confused users, I'm guessing.